Golden pheasant

One of the most colorful and striking birds in the avian world


Native to the forests of mountainous areas of western China, its vibrant plumage makes it a favorite among bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. The male Golden Pheasant is renowned for its brilliant coloration. Its golden-yellow crest, tinged with red at the tip, complements the deep red body, brightening to a flaming orange on its back. Intricate black, blue, and white patterns decorate its wings and tail, with the tail being particularly long and striking. The female, in contrast, is much less conspicuous with a duller-mottled brown plumage, which provides excellent camouflage against the forest floor. They are ground-dwelling birds that prefer dense forests and woodlands. They often stay within cover to avoid predators. They are adept at running and usually escape on foot but can fly short distances when necessary.

Golden Pheasants, like many other bird species, possess a remarkable visual system that sets them apart. This sophisticated system allows them to perceive colors across a wider spectrum than humans. The secret to their advanced color vision lies in the additional types of cone cells in their retinas. While humans have three types of cones that enable us to see red, blue, and green colors, Golden Pheasants have four types. The fourth type is sensitive to ultraviolet light, a range of the spectrum that is invisible to the human eye.

This unique visual system significantly enhances the Golden Pheasant’s perception, enabling them to spot ultraviolet markings on plants, other animals, and even within their own species that are invisible to predators and humans. This ability is particularly crucial during mating seasons when males flaunt their vivid plumage to attract females.


Population est.
United Kingdom

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No